There are 23 players at this year's Scouting Combine either playing NCAA hockey or considering going there. In years past, those players would be rushed through the Combine in 48 hours, taking all their interviews in one day, their fitness testing the next and then out the door.
NCAA rules allowed the NHL to bring the players to the Combine for no more than 48 hours -- any time longer would be considered an impermissible benefit and cost the player his eligibility. One of the more vivid images of recent Combines was in 2008, when Colin Wilson had to sprint through the Bristol Westin hotel in Toronto immediately after his fitness testing to get back to his room, change into clean clothes, grab his bag and hustle to the airport.
However, the NCAA gave the NHL a waiver just before last year's Combine, exempting the League from that 48-hour rule, and now NHL Central Scouting can plan for NCAA-eligible players to stay for the duration of the Combine.
"It allows us to spread the interviews over the course of the three days (of the interview sessions)," Central Scouting Manager Nathan Ogilvie-Harris, who coordinates scheduling for the Combine, told NHL.com. "The NCAA kids used to do close to 25 to 30 interviews over the two days. Their schedules were hectic. They would finish the fitness testing and we'd be pushing them out the door and scrambling to get them to the airport on time so they wouldn't miss their flights.
"It's made everything more flowing. It's fair to the kids and leads to a more balanced schedule."